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S'pore extends port limits, says will defend territorial sovereignty

Singapore has claimed that Malaysian government vessels have been continually intruding into its Territorial Waters off Tuas with 14 intrusions so far.

“Singapore had protested the repeated intrusions via three TPNs (Third Person Notes),” said the republic’s Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan (above) in a statement today.

The statement was made available after a media conference held with local media at 5pm.

In view of these recent provocative developments, Khaw said Singapore has decided to extend the Singapore Port Limits off Tuas via Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (Port Limits) (Amendment) Notification 2018.

“This extension is well within Singapore Territorial Waters and tracks the eastern boundary of the 1999 Johor Bahru Port Limits. The gazette takes effect from today,” said Khaw.

Khaw noted that Singapore's position with Malaysia “has always been clear and consistent” as “we uphold international law and respect bilateral agreements.”

“We will protect and defend Singapore’s territorial sovereignty. Singapore will not hesitate to take firm action against intrusions and unauthorised activities in our waters,” he added.

On Malaysia’s proposal that both officials work towards an amicable resolution, Khaw said: "Singapore naturally agrees to this and will follow up.”

“It has always been our view ever since Malaysia published its first map in 1979, that the boundary line in this area can only be settled in accordance with international law and practice, through consultations between the governments involved.

"Meanwhile, Malaysian government vessels should cease their intrusions and return to the status quo before Oct 25, 2018,” he said.

Nonetheless, Khaw noted that he “remains optimistic.”

“We still seek good bilateral relations, and hope we can work together to find an amicable solution to these issues,” he said.

Issues on territorial waters came up on Monday and since then both countries have been exchanging words. - Bernama

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